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20120701
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areas as a result of the drought. in my own home state of texas, over the last three years rain fall and high temperatures have conspired to wreak havoc on the economy. farmers and ranchers are bearing the brunt. that hits the pocketbook of every american. food prices go up. the damage is not limited to agriculture. for instance, in texas, conditions are again ripe for the kind of extreme wildfires that scarred large portions of the state last year. tourism is suffering as water levels in the lakes and rivers plummet, leaving boats stranded on dry land. communities are imposing water restrictions and exploiting more expensive water resources and technology. power plants and grid operators are taking a serious look at emergency plans for water supplies. given the potential for massive economic damage, we need to recognize drought for what it is, an extreme weather event, and design policy accordingly. unlike disasters such as tornadoes, floods, and hurricanes, droughts do not leave people scrambling for cover. there are no sirens or emergency evacuation plans. the onset is slow, with
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